National Wildlife Health Center

...advancing wildlife and ecosystem health

USGS National Wildlife Health Center
Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report
July 2004 to September 2004

Reported
State
Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
By
AK False Pass 07/01/04-07/18/04 Tufted Puffin; Pelagic Cormorant; Black-Legged Kittiwake 1,000 (e) Open NW
AK Kenai NWR 07/01/04-07/24/04 Wood Frog 25 Parasitism: Perkinsus-like organism NW
AK Yukon Delta NWR 07/01/04-07/05/04 Wood Frog 3 Parasitism: Perkinsus-like organism NW
AZ Pima County, Altar Valley 05/01/04-06/15/04 Tiger Salamander 4 (e) Open; Parasitism: Clinostomum sp. NW
CA Alameda Naval Air Station 06/04/04-07/25/04 California Least Tern 159 (e) Open NW
CA Delevan NWR and Sacramento NWR 07/25/04-10/18/04 Shoveler; Mallard; Green-Winged Teal; American Wigeon; Pintail 1,606 (e) Botulism type C NW
CA Lower Klamath NWR 07/20/04-09/16/04 Mallard; Pintail; Green-Winged Teal; Gadwall; American Coot 9,226 Botulism type C NW
CA Pacific coast 07/01/04-09/01/04 California Brown Pelican 53 Emaciation; Starvation NW, SWD
CA Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR 06/25/04-09/30/04 California Brown Pelican; Great Blue Heron; Caspian Tern; Eared Grebe; California Gull 49 Botulism type C NW
DE Kent County 07/15/04-07/20/04 Barn Owl 6 (e) Emaciation NW
FL Manatee County 07/01/04-ongoing Wood Stork; White Ibis; Roseate Spoonbill; Great Blue Heron; Unidentified Pelican 20 (e) Open FL, NW, NFL
GA Cobb County 06/10/04-06/13/04 Domestic Duck 11 Open SCW
GA Hall County 07/27/04-07/30/04 Mallard; Domestic Mallard 5 Septicemia SCW
GA Marion County 06/10/04-06/23/04 Mourning Dove; European Starling;Brown-Headed Cowbird 22 (e) Salmonellosis Salmonellosis suspect SCW
IA Jackson County 06/28/04-07/05/04 Little Brown Bat; Big Brown Bat 50 (e) Open IA
IL Multiple Counties 07/20/04-ongoing White-Tailed Deer 34 (e) Epizootic hemorrhagic disease IL
LA Iberia County 08/15/04-08/27/04 Wood Duck 13 Avian pox suspect LA
MA Barnstable County 08/08/04-08/25/04 Common Tern 20 (e) Viral Infection: NOS Salmonellosis NW
MA Monomoy NWR 07/21/04-08/25/04 Common Tern; Laughing Gull; Great Black-Backed Gull; Roseate Tern 2,575 (e) Viral Infection: NOS Salmonellosis NW
MD Talbot County 09/23/04-ongoing Unidentified Sandpiper; Mallard; Shoveler; Lesser Yellowlegs; Green-Winged Teal 250 (e) Botulism type C MD, NW
ME Seal Island NWR 07/28/04-08/25/04 Common Tern; Arctic Tern 40 (e) Viral Infection: NOS NW
MS Mississippi Sandhill Crane NWR 09/24/04-09/27/04 Mississippi Sandhill Crane 4 Open NFL, NW
MT Medicine Lake NWR 07/02/04-08/16/04 American White Pelican; American Coot; Shoveler; California Gull; Western Grebe 200 (e) Viral Infection: West Nile; Salmonellosis; Botulism type C NW
ND Logan County, Kulm WMD 07/15/04-08/11/04 Franklin's Gull 75 (e) Open NW
ND McIntosh County 09/11/04-10/20/04 Shoveler Unidentified Gull Mallard Gadwall American White Pelican 100 (e) Botulism type C NW
ND Logan County 07/01/04-08/12/04 Ring-Billed Gull; Franklin's Gull; Canada Goose; Unidentified Shorebird; Double-Crested Cormorant 2,300 (e) Salmonellosis; Open NW
NM Bernalillo County 08/23/04-08/30/04 Wood Duck 10 (e) Botulism type C NW
NY Jefferson County 06/01/04-06/02/04 Canada Goose 9 Toxicosis: diazinon NY
OH Ottawa County 08/09/04-08/10/04 Bank Swallow 100 (e) Trauma; Open NW
ONT Lake Ontario, Canada 08/21/04-ongoing Long-tailed Duck; Double Crested Cormorant; Herring Gull; Common Loon; Ring-billed Gull 1600 (e) Botulism type E TOR
OR Klamath County 07/15/04-08/17/04 Unidentified Rail; Eared Grebe; American Coot; Green-Winged Teal; Shoveler 800 (e) Botulism type C NW
OR Lane County 06/30/04-08/20/04 Western Canada Goose; Mallard 78 Toxicosis: blue-green algae suspect AL, NW
PA Presque Isle State Park 06/18/04-ongoing Unidentified Cormorant; Common Loon; Herring Gull; Black-Backed Gull; Ring-Billed Gull 500 (e) Botulism type E; Emaciation NW, CCW
RI Newport County 06/15/04-07/10/04 Northern Leopard Frog 110 (e) Viral Infection: Ranavirus NW
SD Lacreek NWR 08/16/04-09/15/04 American White Pelican 35 (e) Open NW
SD Brule County 07/01/04-08/03/04 Unidentified Pelican; Ring-Billed Gull; Gadwall; Unidentified Duck; Redhead 300 (e) Botulism (not typed); Open NW
SD Waubay NWR 06/29/04-08/23/04 American White Pelican 250 (e) Viral Infection: West Nile; Salmonellosis; Botulism type C NW
UT Davis County 08/15/04-09/30/04 Shoveler; Green-Winged Teal; Pintail; California Gull; American Avocet 2,500 (e) Botulism type C NW
WA Grant County 09/21/04-09/25/04 Bullfrog 200 (e) Open NW
WA King County 08/12/04-09/23/04 American (Common) Crow 16 Enteritis; Viral Infection: Reovirus; Avian Pox NW
WA Ridgefield NWR 09/19/04-10/08/04 Barn Swallow; Violet-Green Swallow 95 (e) Emaciation NW
WI Milwaukee County 09/07/04-09/16/04 Mallard; Canada Goose 60 (e) Botulism type C NW
WI La Crosse County 07/03/04-08/01/04 Eastern Bluebird 13 Open NW
WI La Crosse County 07/22/04-08/10/04 Mallard 10 Open: botulism suspect NW
WI La Crosse County 09/25/04-ongoing American Coot; Lesser Scaup; Mallard; Shoveler; Gadwall 417 (e) Parasitism: Cyathocotyle bushiensis; Parasitism: Sphaeridiotrema globules; Parasitism: trematodiasis NW
WI Vilas County 07/01/04-07/22/04 Bullfrog 100 (e) Open NW
WI Winnebago County 09/12/04-09/25/04 Mallard 40 (e) Botulism Type C NW, WI
WY Grand Teton National Park 07/09/04-08/31/04 Columbia Spotted Frog 10 (e) Open NW
Updates and Corrections:
Reported
State
Location Dates Species Mortality Diagnosis Reported
By
AL Wheeler NWR 05/18/04-05/27/04 Southern Leopard Frog 150 (e) Parasitism: trematodiasis NW
CA Inyo County 05/01/03-09/30/03 Ring-Billed Gull 22 Toxicosis: salt suspect; Parasitism; Emaciation CDL
FL Jefferson County 02/29/04-05/20/04 Northern Cardinal; Bobwhite Quail 15 (e) Open FL
FL Pinella County 05/11/04-06/12/04 Mallard; Muscovy; American Coot; Unidentified Cormorant; Unidentified Fish 80 (e) Open: botulism suspect FL
IL Winnebago County 06/27/04-06/28/04 Little Brown Bat 50 (e) Emaciation: Weather Conditions suspect NW
KY Rockcastle County 04/20/04-05/10/04 Jefferson Salamander; Marbled Salamander; Wood Frog; Eastern Red-Spotted Newt; Green Frog 500 (e) Viral Infection: Iridovirus; Fungal Infection:NOS NW
MA Barnstable County 05/04/04-06/08/04 Eider, Common 350 (e) Parasitism:acanthocephaliasis NW
MN Isanti County 06/02/04-06/08/04 Wood Frog 10000 (e) Viral Infection: Ranavirus NW
MN Lac Qui Parle WMA 05/30/04-08/01/04 American White Pelican 930 (e) Viral Infection: West Nile; Open; Botulism type E NW
MN Lake of the Woods County 06/17/04-07/01/04 American White Pelican; Ring-Billed Gull; Double-Crested Cormorant 82 (e) Open NW
MS Harrison County 02/10/04-05/30/04 Bullfrog; Southern Leopard Frog 30 Parasitism: Perkinsus-like organism NW
US All continental states except DC, MD, NC, and WA 01/02/04-ongoing American (Common) Crow; Western Scrub Jay; Yellow-Billed Magpie; Steller's Jay; Blue Jay 6,136 (e) Viral Infection: West Nile CDC, NW, ST

(e) = estimate; * = morbidity, not mortality

New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation (NY), Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCW), USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NW), Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources (WI), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Various states labsites (ST), Alabama Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory - Auburn (AL), Environment Ministry Laboratory of Toronto (TOR), Florida Game and Fish (FL), San Diego County Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (CDL), Sea World of San Diego (SWD), Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IA), Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IL), Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD).

Written and compiled by Rex Sohn -Western US, Kathryn Converse- Central US, Grace McLaughlin - Eastern US, NWHC . The Quarterly Wildlife Mortality Report is available at http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov. To report mortality or receive information about this report, contact the above NWHC staff, or for Hawaiian Islands contact Thierry Work. Phone: (608) 270-2400, FAX: (608) 270-2415 or e-mail: kathy_converse@usgs.gov. USGS National Wildlife Health Center, 6006 Schroeder Road, Madison, WI 53711.

Quarterly Mortality Reports

Avian Botulism at Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge.
In late July 2004, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) personnel reported the mortality of 5,000 birds at Lower Klamath NWR within the previous 10 days. Primarily dabbling ducks were affected, but some coots, grebes and ibis also died. Sick birds showed signs consistent with botulism (resting head on back, lying at water's edge on mudflats or vegetative mats, sick and fresh dead birds clustered around maggot covered carcasses). Botulinum type C toxin was confirmed by mouse inoculation tests in ducks submitted to NWHC for diagnostic evaluation. There were approximately 200,000 resident and migrant waterfowl and 20,000 shorebirds at risk at the onset of the die-off and the number of birds increased as migratory birds arrived from the North over the next two months. Many of those birds were concentrated on a few wetlands where water was maintained despite an ongoing drought. Avian botulism has been a recurring problem at Refuges in the Klamath Basin NWR Complex for many years. Refuge staff carry out aggressive surveillance and carcass pickup during the expected botulism season. Botulism has been confirmed or suspected at Lower Klamath NWR every year since 1980 with the exception of 1982, 1983, 1993, and 2002. Reported losses of birds during botulism outbreaks during that time period ranged from 300 to 14,000 birds.

Marine Bird Mortality in the Eastern Aleutian Islands.
A die-off of marine birds including puffins, gulls, kittiwakes, common eiders, and pelagic cormorants and flat fish (flounder) was first observed in early July by residents of False Pass, Alaska on the extreme east end of the Aleutian Island chain. The weather at the time of the die-off was unusually warm (60 - 70 degrees F.) and sunny with light wind. The location is in a strait connecting the Bering Sea with the Pacific Ocean and there is a strong tidal current which carried the birds ashore. Specimens of dead birds were collected and frozen by Tribal government personnel then transferred to U.S Fish and Wildlife Service biologists at Izembek NWR who arranged shipment of the specimens to the NWHC for diagnostic evaluation. Dead carcasses continued to appear on the local beaches for two weeks with an estimated total mortality reaching 1,000 birds. Diagnostic evaluation of tufted puffins, a pelagic cormorant, and a black-legged kittiwake showed birds were in fair body condition with some lung edema but had no other significant gross or microscopic lesions. Bacterial cultures of lungs yielded no pathogenic bacteria and viral cultures of brains, lungs, and intestines were negative. No significant parasite infections were observed in GI tracts. Upper GI contents and tissue samples were submitted to the Center for Marine Science at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington for marine biotoxin analysis, which determined the levels were within normal levels for marine birds. The NWHC has only three reported mortality events in tufted puffins since 1975. One event was in the Gulf of Alaska in 1989 and the other two events were on the Washington coast in 1991. The primary diagnosis in the Alaska and one Washington die-off was emaciation while the primary diagnosis in the second Washington die-off was suspect petroleum toxicosis.

Pelican and gull mortality in North Central nesting colonies.
For the third consecutive year, there were higher than expected losses of pelican chicks in three nesting colonies in South Dakota, Montana and Minnesota. Losses ranged from 100's to 1000's. More than half of the North American white pelicans are produced in these colonies. A high number of pelicans necropsied from each site were positive for West Nile virus and some birds were also positive for Salmonella sp. or botulism type C. Histopathologic examinations are in progress to determine if West Nile virus was the cause of death in these pelicans. A two year research study is in progress in two of these states to determine the possible impact of West Nile virus on the nesting pelican colonies. Mortality was also reported in two gull nesting colonies in North Dakota. Salmonellosis was confirmed in some of the gulls submitted for necropsy from one colony. Similar gull mortality occurred in North Dakota nesting colonies for the past three years.

Terns in New England.
In July and August 2004, staff and researchers at Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Maine and staff at Monomoy NWR and Cape Cod National Seashore (NS) in Massachusetts reported sick and dead fledgling common terns. Seal Island terns were unable to raise or extend one wing, while those in Massachusetts were unable to fly and were circling, star-gazing, and unable to maintain their balance. At necropsy, the primary consistent finding was atrophy of immune system organs (thymus, bursa of Fabricius, spleen) in birds from all three sites. No viruses were isolated in multiple systems, and investigations are continuing to determine the cause of the immune organ atrophy. Many specimens from Massachusetts tested positive for Salmonella typhimurium (Copenhagen); these bacterial infections may be opportunistic due to immune system impairment. Mortality estimated from collected or buried tern carcasses was 1,700 in Massachusetts, making this the largest tern mortality event in the NWHC epizootic database.

For additional information please contact Dr. Scott Wright, USGS National Wildlife Health Center - Disease Investigations Branch Chief, at 608-270-2460 or Paul Slota, USGS National Wildlife Health Center - Support Services Branch Chief at 608-270-2420.

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